Showing posts with label vanilla. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vanilla. Show all posts

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Chewy Vegan Gluten-Free Brownies

Last night after a full day of surfing and our weekly family grill night, Rich said he was craving brownies. I love having a stocked pantry that allows me to whip up whatever sounds yummy at the moment. Good quality cocoa powder is a must. My favorite is Equal Exchange Baking Cocoa, which is fair trade and has such a profound impact on all of my baked goods. A baking cupboard full of gluten-free flours is helpful, too.

The foundation for this recipe came from my much loved (and smeared with lots of chocolate) copy of Babycakes by Erin McKenna. However, I changed the recipe substantially, skipping the applesauce, chocolate chips, and xanthan gum. I also used palm shortening instead of coconut oil and used brown sugar in place of white sugar because the complexity of brown sugar complements chocolate so beautifully, which I learned about 10 years ago from Nigella Lawson in How to Be a Domestic Goddess.

These brownies are crispy on the edges and decadently chewy on the inside. We ate them straight out of the pan while they were still so hot they burned our mouths and crumbled everywhere. Hey, surfing burns a lot of calories. We were hungry! They are even better once they cool off a bit.

Yields 15 small squares 
1 cup garbanzo (chickpea) flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
3/4 cup brown sugar* or coconut palm sugar  
2 teaspoons double-acting, aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup palm shortening
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot water
1 tablespoon powdered sugar* (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a 6x8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. 
  2. Combine the garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. 
  3. Add the palm shortening, vanilla extract, and hot water and stir until just combined. 
  4. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 27 minutes. The top will still be slightly jiggly. 
  5. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before sifting powdered sugar over the top, slicing and serving. 

*Note: If you are vegan, look for a vegan brown sugar and powdered sugar. Alternately, use coconut palm sugar and skip the powdered sugar.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vanilla, Coconut, Chocolate Paleo Bars

If you're looking for an alternative to eggs for breakfast (a likely possibility if you follow an ancestral approach to food) try these simple and scrumptious paleo "dream bars."

Yields 12 bars

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup crushed pecans, divided
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup coconut oil (in solid form)
1 vanilla bean, scraped3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
  1. Combine the cocoa powder, 1 cup of the pecans and sea salt in a food processor, and pulse until it resembles coarse sand. Add the dates and pulse until the mixture comes together. 
  2. Press mixture into the bottom of a small baking dish, about 8x5". 
  3. In a separate dish, combine the coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup. Stir in 1 cup of the shredded coconut. Spoon this mixture over the cocoa-pecan crust and smooth with a spatula or the back of a spoon. 
  4. Top with the remaining pecans, coconut flake and cacao nibs. Cut into 12 portions and top with parchment paper.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

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